Our facial expressions do more than communicate our current mood- they have the ability to influence our mood as well. Emotions may originate in the brain, but the muscles in the face either reinforce or transform those feelings. Recent studies have revealed that through the enhancement of positive emotions, or the suppression of negative ones, with facial expressions, a person's mood begins to align more strongly with the emotion his or her face is communicating.
Here are some surprising benefits of smiling:
- Look Younger
Smiling naturally lifts the face, making people look around 3 years younger, on average.
The effects of a good smile extend past just the exterior good looks. People who smile more often live around 7 years longer than most. It relieves stress, and helps the heart.
- Smiling releases endorphins
Smiling can help you manage stress and anxiety by releasing endorphins, chemicals that make you happier. Endorphins are the same chemicals you get from working out or running, resulting in what is known as a runner’s high. Smile more to get that high without running.
- Smiling will make you more comfortable
Our natural tendency is to stick to things that are familiar, but smiling decreases this need. A study found that smiling can make you more comfortable in situations you would otherwise feel awkward in.
- Lower Heart Rate
Smiling slows the heart and relaxes the body. This lets the heart work without overworking. People who smile and laugh often are less likely to develop heart disease. Smiling also temporarily reduces blood pressure.